The second edition of the International Aerospace Conference “AEROCON 2022,” organised by SAE India in collaboration with SAE International, was a showcase of its growing presence in the aerospace domain. The theme of the AEROCON 2022 was autonomous airborne systems, focusing on various research trends, challenges and opportunities and bringing together the best of industry, academia and research to lay out the roadmap to meet India’s future aerospace and defence needs.
The Indian Aerospace & Defence (A&D) market is projected to reach approximately $70 billion by 2030, driven by the burgeoning demand for advanced infrastructure and Government thrust (Source: IBEF) and is driving the need for such industry events. India’s drive towards defence indigenisation which is now receiving a greater share of defence capital expenditure provides immense opportunities to both start-ups and incumbents in the aerospace and defence sector.
Highlighting Aerospace Presence
David Schutt, CEO, SAE International, in a recorded message, said that SAE occupied a commanding position when it comes to aerospace standards. “Since SAE’s inception more than a century ago, our mission has driven us to support the advancement of mobility solutions in the aerospace and aviation industry, this commitment continues to this day,” he said. “SAE prides itself at being at the forefront at the convergence of cross-industry technologies such as AI, electrification, additive manufacturing, sustainability, and so many more. Our broad capabilities enable us to develop patented products such as SAE OnQue which is transforming aerospace engineering design and development through digital standards,” he added.
Rashmi Urdhwarseshe, President, SAE India, said one of the main reasons that an event such as AEROCON was being held was due to SAE India’s firm belief in supporting the needs of India’s aerospace industry. The growing participation of India’s private sector in the aviation industry is now becoming increasingly significant and would lead to the creation of the rich human resources required for the industry’s growth. Dr Murli Iyer, Executive Advisor Global Affairs, SAE International, highlighted that SAE International is the largest aerospace standards developing organisation globally and has the largest repository of knowledge on aerospace engineering. SAE International organises three major international events - for ground vehicles, aerospace and off-highway commercial vehicles.
Amongst some of the products on display at the show were a 5G drone from Infosys. This drone has applications in warehouse inventory management, indoor and outdoor mapping and surveillance and inspection. Weighing only 2.4 kg, it can carry a max payload of 300gm and has a flight time of 20 minutes.
UCAL Technologies, which comes under the UCAL Group, showcased its VTOL D002, which has a take-off weight of 30kg and a payload capability of up to 2kg and an endurance of four hours. Drones developed by the company have been used in Uttarakhand and Chennai for post-flood studies and surveys. It has provided UAV targets to the Indian Ministry of Defence for more than 15 years. UCAL Technologies specialises in aerospace and defence design, analysis manufacturing and testing. Parent firm UCAL is better known for providing fuel management systems for the automotive industry.
AEROCON 2022 received more than 400 registrations and was held at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Management Academy in Bengaluru. The call for papers and presentations was released in July 2021, and 125 referred paper abstracts and 11 oral presentation abstracts were received. Amongst the various topics covered at the two-day event were AI/ML, modelling and simulation, aero engines, additive manufacturing, testing & validation, aerodynamic design, AR/VR, composites & advanced materials, safety & reliability, integrated vehicle health management, blockchain, electric mobility, autonomous airborne systems, actuation systems & avionics. A total of thirty peer-reviewed technical papers were presented in this edition of the conference and three oral-only presentations, and all of them will also be published in SAE Mobilus.
The first edition of the biennial aerospace conference was held in a virtual mode in November 2020. SAE India also organises the Aerospace Forum (previously known as Aerospace Board), which has been in existence for over a decade, being formally inaugurated in December 2009 at a simple function in Bangalore by Dr Bala K. Bharadvaj. SAE India serves the mobility engineering community engaged in the design, manufacturing and service of self-propelled vehicles and systems that move in land, air, space and sea and has more than 4,000 professional members and 40,000 student members. It is the largest strategic alliance partner of SAE International, which has more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts from over 100 countries.